Try as I might, I just can’t find that 1984 Toyota ad anywhere…
It's almost as though, bubbling deep in the cesspit subconscious of people who make car ads, there's a compulsion to admit that they're selling machines that can and do kill people.
This Ford ad's not the worst though. That title must surely go to Toyota for the 1984 billboard that featured a Celica Supra being fired out of or alongside a handgun and the slogan 'The trigger is under your right foot'.
I mean the bigger problem with the Ford story is that, even taken in the "correct" context, i.e. aim for the apex, it uses language associated with racing and driving in a manner which is reckless and inappropriate for city streets.
Add onto that the picture is a car going round a right-hand bend such that it order to hit the apex (at least in the UK) the driver would have to be FULLY ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD then you reach the inevitable conclusion that even taken in the intended context it is a god awful advert that should be appropriately punished.
Personally I know nothing about 'aiming for the apex', whatever that is, as I don't follow motor sport. To me, and probably to many other people, the word 'aiming' implies a weapon such as a gun being aimed. Also, vehicles have been used as weapons in terrorist attacks where they were aimed at streets full of pedestrians. I think it was a poorly-worded advert and it's right that it's been pulled.
And last word, from a Ford fanatic:
Oh, please. This is so silly.
— MJK_ToTheRight (@MJK_ToTheRight) June 7, 2022
“Today’s heroes…”: Thibaut Pinot and Guillaume Martin question Rafael Nadal’s use of anaesthetic injections during French Open
— road.cc (@roadcc) June 7, 2022
As French cycling royalty speaks out against the King of Clay’s use of injections during the French Open (to the extent that Nadal claimed he couldn’t feel his foot during his emphatic final victory over Casper Ruud on Sunday), what’s your stance on needles in sport?
Should injections be used to treat injuries, either as one-off emergencies or in the consistent, long-term manner seemingly favoured by Nadal and the likes of Steven Gerrard while he was at Liverpool?
Or do you agree with Martin and Pinot that if an athlete requires an injection to compete, they shouldn’t be competing at all? (Never mind needing to numb the source of the pain so much that you can’t even feel it…)
Perhaps you’re slightly confused that someone who apparently needs industrial quantities of cortisone to walk can still – at the age of 36 – dominate one of his sport’s biggest events?
Or do you reckon the French duo’s comments smack of ‘people in glass houses…’
Let us know!
Premature celebrations! 😲🤯
— Eurosport (@eurosport) June 7, 2022
David Gaudu continued France’s successful start to the Critérium du Dauphiné by pipping Wout van Aert on the uphill drag to the line in Chastreix-Sancy, after the Jumbo-Visma rider was found guilty of raising his arms too early.
Or ‘doing an Alaphilippe’, as it’s known in the biz.
Despite his premature celebration, Van Aert has regained the yellow jersey he lost to Alexis Vuillermoz yesterday, and now sits six seconds ahead of Groupama-FDJ’s Gaudu, whose build up to the Tour de France looks to be gaining momentum after a smart, perfectly timed victory.
But now on to today’s most important concern – all the ‘Wout were you thinking?’ jokes and memes, currently spreading rapidly across the internet...
(And don't let the fact that Gaudu would have won anyway spoil a good gag...)
— pro cycling trumps (@procycletrumps) June 7, 2022
Roglic is always right. pic.twitter.com/v6Ubs00Rzs
— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) June 7, 2022
Classy team work from Jumbo Visma to get van Aert in the perfect position to celebrate too soon. #Dauphine
— Michael Hutchinson (@Doctor_Hutch) June 7, 2022
— Cillian Kelly (@irishpeloton) June 7, 2022
the duality of man pic.twitter.com/9hnxme7FtQ
— robyn (@robynjournalist) June 7, 2022
— Will Newton (@InsidePeloton96) June 7, 2022
Wout van Aert, 2022, updated:
17 race days
12 times in the top 3.
1 early celebration. https://t.co/CtA41kH9MM
— Daniel Lloyd (@daniellloyd1) June 7, 2022
— The Women's Tour (@thewomenstour) June 7, 2022
You can’t keep a top rider down for long.
Team DSM’s Lorena Wiebes made up for sliding off on the final corner yesterday by returning to winning ways in emphatic fashion on stage two of the Women’s Tour in Harlow today.
The Dutch sprinter benefitted from a textbook lead out from her team, before instantly gapping her rivals with an explosively powerful burst with 200 metres to go, comfortably beating Barbara Guarischi and Shari Bossuyt into second and third respectively.
— The Women's Tour (@thewomenstour) June 7, 2022
Wiebes has certainly cemented herself as the sport’s dominant sprinter during what has been a sensational 2022 so far.
Of the 20 race days the DSM rider has taken part in this year, she’s won eight of them (and don’t forget the overall GC at the RideLondon Classique).
Not too shabby, eh?
With a few more opportunities for bunch kicks left in this year’s Women’s Tour, don’t bet against Wiebes continuing her relentlessly impressive streak.
After yesterday’s chaotic, stressful and pretty controversial opening stage, the Women’s Tour peloton will be hoping for a more serene loop around Harlow today – though by the looks of things at the moment, the pace is starting to ramp up on the rolling roads.
Team Coop-Hitec Products, meanwhile, are intent on winning the hearts of cycling and dance fans (like myself) everywhere...
— The Women's Tour (@thewomenstour) June 7, 2022
Just when you thought a bicycle-propelled Red Arrows display couldn’t be topped, road.cc reader, bike builder and Strava art creator (yep, that’s a thing) Nicolas sent us this hugely impressive and frankly terrifying image of the Queen’s head mapped out by bike over London.
Nicolas was taking part in Rapha London RCC’s jubilee-inspired checkpoint challenge but, instead of limiting himself to the prescribed 50-kilometre route, decided to go above and beyond in the name of the Platty Joobs, clocking up over 320km during a non-stop 20-hour ride to draw this massive postage stamp.
Fair play Nicolas. I can’t say I fully understand why you did it, but fair play.
Not a "mistake", @Daily_Express - electric vehicles still pollute the air, kill pedestrians and we can't electrify our way out of a car-caused crisis.
— The Tyre Extinguishers (@T_Extinguishers) June 6, 2022
Tyre Extinguishers, the direct-action group calling for SUVs to be banned from cities, have responded to an article in the Daily Express which claimed that the activists “attacked the tyres of an electric car by mistake”.
Members of the group, who spoke to us in April for an episode of the road.cc Podcast, use dried lentils to deflate tyres of the vehicles to draw attention to their campaign.
Over the weekend, the Express reported that John Browne (that’s Baron Browne of Madingley to you), BP’s chief executive between 1995 and 2007, found that the tyres on his Mercedes SUV had been deflated by the campaigners last month.
A note wedged under the car’s windscreen read: “Attention — your gas guzzler kills.
“We have deflated one or more of your tyres. You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally.
“It’s not you, it’s your car. Psychological studies show SUV drivers are more likely to take risks on the roads. SUVs are unnecessary, and pure vanity.”
“We were appalled, because our car is electric,” Lord Browne said.
“And what if we had needed to use it for an emergency — to go to hospital or something? It is right to tackle climate change, but this is the wrong way to go about it.”
Tyre Extinguishers, however, have since responded to the article to confirm that the incident was “not a mistake”.
The group posted on Twitter: “Electric vehicles still pollute the air, kill pedestrians and we can’t electrify our way out of a car-caused crisis.
“Also, Lord John Browne is a climate criminal who deserves to have his tyres deflated every day.”
The group, which has no centralised structure and is active around the world, encourages people to get involved with its campaign by undertaking their own direct actions and leaving a leaflet, downloadable from their website, to explain to owners of the vehicles why their tyres have been deflated and to highlight the effect of SUVs on the planet.
— Simon Warren (@100Climbs) June 7, 2022
I know he’s fond of chatting to riders at the back of the bunch (often in the wrong language), but I’m not sure even Sir Brad of Wiggins could pull off this kind of onboard interview technique…
Yesterday on the blog we reported that car giant Ford, recently announced as a major partner of RideLondon, came in for some flak online for a controversial marketing campaign which encouraged customers not just to drive their cars, but “aim” them.
Car companies have long promoted their products in an assertive and aggressive way, encouraging drivers to “be in control” and to “own the road”.
But Ford may have set a new low in openly marketing their cars as weapons. pic.twitter.com/NsSqV8VZis
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) June 5, 2022
The ad – which some Twitter users claimed was a reference to racing drivers ‘aiming’ for the apex of a corner – was described by the West Midlands’ cycling and walking commissioner Adam Tranter as a “new low”.
“Car companies have long promoted their products in an assertive and aggressive way, encouraging drivers to ‘be in control’ and to ‘own the road’,” Tranter wrote on Twitter.
“But Ford may have set a new low in openly marketing their cars as weapons.”
Referring to Ford’s new ‘Park the Car’ initiative, which aims to encourage drivers to cycle or walk for short journeys, Tranter continued: “It’s an interesting strategy for a company aiming to earn goodwill by promoting their support of people walking and cycling, the modes of transport most in danger of the weaponisation of cars.”
Last night, Ford contacted the cycling and walking commissioner to inform him that the offending advert has now been removed.
The motoring firm also acknowledged that when “taken out of context, the language used on this particular advert can be misinterpreted.”
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) June 6, 2022
Ford said in a statement: “We want to reassure you that nothing is more important to us than the safety of all road users and, though initiatives like our long-established Share the Road programme, we have been working to promote safer, more harmonious roads that specifically focus on cyclist safety.
“It is true that, taken out of context, the language used on this particular advert can be misinterpreted. We have taken action to remove it immediately and are working closely with our colleagues to ensure this is avoided in the future.”
While some praised Ford’s speedy response, others weren’t as convinced:
Credit where it's due to Ford. They dealt with the issue considerably faster than TfL did regarding their 'car-crash' of an advert.
— Jim Smithson (@BoredBrummie) June 6, 2022
"I'm sorry you were offended"
— The Ranty Highwayman (@RantyHighwayman) June 7, 2022
Well done for getting this action from @forduk . Language IS important. Now we need to get the Police to stop saying a car and pedestrian collided when the truth is a person was struck/hit.
— The Future Mrs O (@girlonabrompton) June 7, 2022
"...taken out of context..."
I'm struggling to see what context would be appropriate for this sort of advertising copy. Maybe... 👇 pic.twitter.com/cQ5POQrsSA
— KarlOnSea (@KarlOnSea) June 6, 2022
To those saying 'Well Done Ford' have a word with yourselves. Nothing in this tagline was done well, and it should never have made it past the first hurdle for a vehicle on a road with 'you aim it' The fact no one at the car company saw the problem, speaks volumes !
— ConfidentCyclists (@ConfidentCyc) June 6, 2022
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.